A 36-year-old Helena man is accused of trespassing on the property of a private business and stealing gravel separator grates.
Lewis and Clark County sheriff's deputies responded to a complaint about two individuals, a male later identified as James Michael Magee, and a female associate, allegedly breaking into a warehouse located on the 1900 block of Brady Street on March 14. The warehouse and land are owned by two business partners.
Days later, one of the owners saw Magee on the property and drove his alongside Magee's truck to speak with him and his female passenger. The owner recognized Magee from surveillance footage.
The owner noticed gravel separator grates he believed belonged to his business partner in the bed of Magee's truck and accused him of the March 14 trespass and theft. The owner backed up his truck in an attempt to block Magee's escape.
Magee reportedly "revved up his engine and raced toward (the business owner)," according to the arresting deputy's affidavit. The owner was able to back up further and narrowly avoid a collision. He then chased after Magee.
Magee led the owner on a chase until they reached U.S. Route 12, at which point Magee fled at a high rate of speed and the business owner backed down.
Deputies met with Magee March 18. He told the deputies he had received permission from the other business owner, whose grates were in Magee's truck, to be on the property. Magee also denied stealing the grates and attempting to run over the other business owner.
After confirming with the business partners that Magee did not have permission to be on the property, officers arrested him and booked him into the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center.
He has been charged with one felony count of robbery and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass to property and theft.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.